If you've been watching this space, then you probably know that NRA Publications is sponsoring the Mentoring Initiative. But there's a lot more to the concept than simply becoming eligible to win some (admittedly fantastic) prizes. Taking a new shooter to the range is one of the best things you can do for yourself, your friends and the future of the Second Amendment. Here's why.
1. You'll help safeguard the Second Amendment. Quick, without pulling up Google, ask yourself this question: What does the Third Amendment to the Constitution guarantee to American citizens? If you didn't remember that the Third Amendment guarantees you the right to not have soldiers quartered in your home during peacetime, you can certainly be forgiven. After all, whether or not that could or would ever happen hasn't even been a question since the Civil War. The reason the Third Amendment is largely forgotten, despite its high placement on the list of inalienable rights guaranteed by the Constitution, is that it's simply irrelevant these days. It's a sad fact that there is a frightening contingent of folks who would very much like the same thing to happen to the Second Amendment. The best way to get rid of a right is to get the people to forget they have it in the first place. It's also a sad fact that more and more Americans are growing up in environments in which nobody in their family shoots or hunts, so they just don't have any exposure to firearms. But it doesn't have to be that way.
As of now, there are approximately five million NRA Members. If each of us pledges to take just one new person to the range to teach them gun safety and proper firearms handling, that will be another five million people who remember the Second Amendment as a real part of their lives.
2. You'll give your friend a gift that will last a lifetime. Even if your friend doesn't own a gun and is on the fence about ever owning one, they'll still benefit from a day on the range. At the very least, they'll learn what guns can and cannot do. They'll gain an understanding of how to handle a firearm if they ever have to do so. However, chances are quite good that spending a little time safely putting lead downrange will help bring give your friend or loved one the confidence to do it again, or to seek out more training in hopes of accepting the responsibility of armed self-defense. There is really very little that is more powerful as a persuader than simple hands-on experience...and you can be the person who provides that.
3. It's a gift to yourself, too. Naturally, we're going to have to take a moment to mention that there's plenty in it for you, too. As we've written before, the NRA Mentor Sweepstakes is running through July 5, so you have over a month left to enter and put your name into the hat for some awesome prizes. Our point is that prizes are secondary...the intangible benefits of helping a friend or loved one learn how to safely handle a gun are immense. You'll have a new activity to bond with your friend while doing. You'll have a chance to freshen up your own skills. You'll sleep just a little easier at night knowing that your new shooter now has the tools he or she needs to defend his or her own family. It's a wonderful feeling.
Of course, NRA is here to help you and your “mentee” every step of the way. We have skilled, certified firearm trainers all over the country; just click here to find one near you. Mentoring a newbie isn’t mandatory to enter the Sweepstakes, just encouraged. The process is simple: To enter the Mentor Sweepstakes and download a copy of a mentor guide to hand out, please visit nrapublications.org/mentor.
NO PURCHASE OR DONATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OR DONATION WILL NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. The NRA Mentor Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C., age 21 years or older at time of entry. Sweepstakes begins at 9:00 AM Eastern Time ("ET") on 4/15/17 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 7/5/17. To enter and view complete Official Rules, which govern this Sweepstakes, visit www.nrapublications.org/mentor. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: National Rifle Association of America.